I love my birthday. I love it so much.
Everyone seems to jump at the chance to feed me food I couldn’t otherwise afford, and for this I am thankful.
And I’m thankful when restaurants make it more affordable for my friends to treat me to quality eats.
Chaya Brasserie is French-Japanese fusion — when I first heard that, I thought it could either be really bad or really good. When I walked in and saw the cool contemporary decor, I decided that it would probably be very good.
Chaya is offering a special $25 prix fixe menu for their 25th anniversary. You get to choose from three options for appetizers, entrées, and desserts.
We got a Halibut Crudo appetizer, which was served in a yuzu green onion sauce and was melt-in-your-mouth tender. (not on the prix fixe menu) to share and a bottle of red wine. Everything else, we got for the prix fixe price.
My friends both had the Shrimp Tempura Roll appetizer. I tried a piece — it was tasty; not the best I’ve ever had, but certainly solid.
I had the Jalapeño Focaccia. It was served with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, olive tapenade, and a nice slice of Fontina cheese. It was tasty, but I wish there had been more tapenade and I secretly felt that I could have made the focaccia at home.
On to the entrées. One of my friends had the Braised Short Ribs. It was served with a wild mushroom macaroni and green beans. I think they were the most tender ribs I’ve ever put in my mouth — they were that good. And the mushroom mac was delicious, too — it had some crunchy bits that lent a nice crunch to the dish. The beans were okay; a little overdone.
I liked my entrée much better. I got the Tai Snapper and Scallops. The fish is wrapped around the scallop and then seared. My scallops were done to buttery perfection. It was served over a lobster curry with basmati rice and julienned veggies, which was also quite tasty. I totally cleaned my plate.
And, finally, desserts. One of my friends got the Flourless Brownie. It was served with vanilla ice cream, which was necessary to bring balance to the ooey-gooey richness of the brownie. If you love chocolate, then I would highly recommend this.
And my other friend and I both got the Panna Cotta with Figs. Boy, howdy. There was a tangy balsamic reduction on the panna cotta, and it was just right. They cut the fig in half and brûléed the tops, which gave a nice crunchy component to the dish. And the panna cotta was just perfect — the creamiest I ever had.
Add to that the excellent service and that they let us stay for an hour after our meal and didn’t stand around clearing their throats and looking pointedly at their watches, and I think you’ve got a pretty solid dining experience.
Happy birthday to me!!
8741 Alden Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90048